The Under-Representation of Latino Public School Teachers in New York City [Falcón]



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The Under-Representation of 
Latino Public School Teachers 
in New York City
The NiLP Network on Latino Issue (May 27, 2014)
As the National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP) continues our monitoring of the problem of Latino under-representation in the New York City government workforce, one area of special concern for Latinos is education. Latinos currently make up the largest segment of the New York City public school enrollment, comprising 41 percent of nearly one million students in the system. This NiLP Latino Data note was made possible and is largely based on a statistical profile of teachers by the NYC Independent Budget Office.
It is useful to ask how well Latinos are represented among the city's public school's teachers. According to the latest data made available by the NYC Department of Education, in 2010-11, Latinos represented only 14 percent of total teachers.
Despite the dramatic growth of the city's Latino population, since 2000 Latino representation on the public school staff only increased from 13 to 14 percent. Latinos made up 15 percent of elementary school teachers and 13 percent of high school teachers.
Latino teachers were disproportionately assigned to high poverty schools. They made up 24 percent of teachers in high poverty versus 8 percent of those in low-poverty schools. 
Between 2006-7 and 2011-12, the proportion of Latino teachers in high-poverty schools increased from 22 to 24 percent.
Given the many challenges facing the NYC schools in educating a large, growing and diverse Latino student population, it would appear reasonable to acknowledge the need for a much greater representation of Latinos among the system's teaching staff. Besides addressing the importance of having educators familiar with and that can identify with the cultural backgrounds of the students they are serving, there are, as well, significant Spanish language needs in terms of having staff qualified to run effective bilingual. dual-language and other limited English approaches.
For the Latino community, education is a clear priority. As the de Blasio Administration and his Schools Chancellor, Carmen Fariña, embark upon much-need school reforms, such as the current pre-K initiative and after school programs, the needs of Latinos as the largest segment of the school population need to assume a greater priority than in the recent past. The lack of adequate numbers of Latino teachers should be viewed as outrageous and as a clear indicator that much still needs to be done with much urgency in this regard.
The NiLP Network on Latino Issues is an onlie information service provided by the NationaL Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP). For further information, visit our website at